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Varicose Veins Signs, Symptoms, Treatments and Much More

Once our leg muscle pump the blood out of our deep vein, the superficial veins collect more blood from our skin and tissues and move it into our deep veins. The leg muscles then continue to pump this blood up to the heart. Although this system works pretty well in most of the cases however there are many things that may go wrong.

In order to understand varicose veins and why exactly you may have them, it is crucial to have a rather general understanding of how exactly the venous and the arterial blood system works.

Medically speaking; the human blood system is made of three distinct types of blood vessels such as the arteries, the capillaries and the veins. The arteries are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood away from your heart towards extremities of your body. The capillaries on the other hand are the small vessels, which typically enables the exchange of nutrients and oxygen with the rest of your body. The veins help in carrying the blood back to the heart.

Understanding the varicose veins may seem complicated without having a detail understanding of the different kinds of veins in the legs.

  • Superficial veins – these are ones that lie closest to the top of the skin.
  • Deep set veins – the deep set veins lie within the muscle group.
  • Perforating veins – these veins connects the superficial veins to the deep veins.

 

Once our leg muscle pump the blood out of our deep vein, the superficial veins collect more blood from our skin and tissues and move it into our deep veins. The leg muscles then continue to pump this blood up to the heart. Although this system works pretty well in most of the cases however there are many things that may go wrong.

In certain cases when the valves become weak and fail to close properly, they allow the blood to flow backward. The backward flow of the blood has been medically termed as ‘reflux’. When reflux occurs in the veins, the blood starts to pool in the veins.

The one way valves may become damaged owing to trauma or due to the presence of blood clots or for other factors may lead to blood pooling in the lower legs.

When blood begins to pool in the veins instead of moving upward it leads to numerous problems. Some people develop visible signs of vein disease such as varicose veins, spider veins and often sores called ulcers on the legs.

Varicose veins – let’s take a closer look

Varicose veins are typically the unsightly, bulged out veins that have lost their valve effectiveness. Almost as the next obvious result; these veins become rope like, elongated, thickened and bulged under pressure.

While for some varicose veins can simply be a cosmetic problem but for others it may cause rather serious symptoms such as –

  • Aching pain
  • Muscle cramping
  • tired legs
  • welling in the lower part of the legs
  • Itching around the bulged out vein
  • Pain when standing or walking

Risk Factors for varicose veins

The following factors may increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

  • Age: Increasing age may cause wear and tear on the veins
  • Sex: statistical data clearly reveals women are more likely than men to develop this condition
  • Genetics: If in case you have family members with varicose veins issues then there’s likelihood that you may inherit that
  • Obesity: Yes; being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins
  • Standing or walking for prolonged period: Your blood fails to flow well when you remain in the same position for long periods of time

Prevention of varicose veins

Honestly; there is no 100% method, which may prevent spider or varicose veins. However; the following guidelines may help you in reducing the risk of developing varicose veins

Exercise: Of course; exercising stands as a great way in promoting increased blood circulation and muscle strength. Talk to your doctor to figure out the right exercise plan for muscle and vein strength.

Losing weight: Losing some extra weight may help you take off the excess pressure from your legs. Also stick to a low salt, low fat diet for preventing swelling in your leg

Keep your legs in an elevated position: Take short beaks throughout the day and also keep your leg in an elevated position to improve the venous circulation.

Compression Stockings: Compression stockings help in squeezing your legs steadily thus helping the leg veins and the muscles move blood more efficiently. It is important to mention here; compression stockings are available in varied colors and styles so consult with your doctor to find out the right strength and fit for you.

Varicose vein treatments

There are a number of minimally invasive treatments for spider veins and varicose veins, which can be done outpatient basis.

Sclerotherapy: This is a minimally invasive procedure, which can be performed in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will inject a solution to the vein which supports in scarring and closing the veins.

Laser Ablation: Laser Vein Ablation is also a minimally invasive treatment, which can be also performed under local anesthesia and on an outpatient setting. The doctor inserts a thin catheter into the vein and applies laser energy through it. This in turn heats the vein and closes it.

Phlebectomy: This is yet another minimally invasive procedure, which is used to treat varicose veins that are not caused by vein reflux.

 

Sad but true varicose and spider veins can lead to serious health complications such as night cramps, fatigue, leg swelling and more. Do not ignore if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Talk to an experienced doctor for assistance.

Author
Dr. Chane

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